No turning back on implementation of GST next year, says Najib

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KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said there is no turning back on the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) scheduled for April 1 next year.

He expects the number of companies to be registered for the GST, which now stands at 120,000, to increase to 200,000 by year-end.

In a keynote address at the Malaysia Institute of Accountants (MIA) International Accountants Conference yesterday, the prime minister urged professional accountancy bodies to ensure that the GST will be successfully implemented.

Najib said an organised, respectful and solid organisation such as the MIA can play a pivotal role in the implementation.

“I wish to call upon the MIA to provide all your support to Malaysian businesses out there, in your unique position and opportunities, to reach out in ensuring that Malaysian companies are registered and are GST-ready.

“We believe that professional accountancy bodies, acting in the public interest, must play an active role — and that industry groups and governments need to work together to ensure that regulation is effective and efficient,” he said.

Najib urged industry players, from multinational companies to regulators, to join hands with the government in developing and strengthening the capacity of the accountancy profession.

He said the national Economic Transformation Plan, which seeks to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020, envisaged a strong demand for professional accountants.

“We have continued our policies to develop the profession by adopting internationally accepted standards and supporting accountants with a well-designed regulatory framework,” the prime minister said.

Najib, who is also finance minister, said accounting firms need to rise to the challenge of a more connected global economy.

“In countries like Malaysia, where sustained growth and targeted reforms are opening up to the economy, accountancy also prepares our businesses for competition in the global marketplace. As our companies go global, they will need the services of world-class professionals,” he said. — Bernama

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 5, 2014.